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Votive Mess | Bloodaxe Books

Nia Davies

Votive Mess

Nia Davies

Publication Date : 24 Oct 2024

ISBN: 9781780377155

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

In Votive Mess Nia Davies asks how time and desire move us errantly. Her second collection follows her startling debut All fours, emerging from an immersion in performance and ritual. The poems trace a path through the peaks and troughs of performance, bouncing between enchantment and disenchantment. These works are studies in the altered states of travel, masks, comedy, learning and love. Nia Davies begins to learn a lost mother tongue, y iaith Gymraeg, and presents unfinished experiments in liminality.

Votive Mess is a book of small rebellions against systems of exhaustion and alienation, embracing lingual brambles and shabby theatre to assemble fragments gleaned from the rubble of Babel. There are love letters drowsy and excessive as well as uncanny happenings on stage and in the woods.

Votive Mess is composed out of a tangle of sex, leaf, stumbles on stage, damage, blackberries and dyslexia. There is a discharge of Awen, otherwise known as poesis. The navel of the dream is inside out.

Nia Davies' first full-length collection, All fours (Bloodaxe Books, 2017), was shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Poetry Award 2018 (Wales Book of the Year Awards) and longlisted for the 2019 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize.

‘In a collection that straddles buoyancy and hesitancy, Davies courts the pleasures, mishaps and undersides of languages. Welsh, English, action, gesture, food, land, bodies, water and desire become itinerant strata in a terpsichorean poetics of intimacy. Polyphonic jouissance.’ – Amy McCauley on Votive Mess

Votive Mess lights a fire in the poetic vessel, expounding and expanding Davies’s vital preoccupations that separate, and link, us all.' – Kimberly Campanello

‘From the phenomenology of cut-ups to the open fields of performative notation, Nia Davies’ Votive Mess documents and embraces the "anti-poetics” of ritual. Spoken from the heart of the contemporary world, yet in tones that resonate with an older ritual tradition, these poems playfully extend language towards ceremony. Votive Mess offers us a new, free-form liturgy, a liminal portal “for transmitting through multiple spaces". Wander through these spaces – the spell won’t wear off.' – Peter Jaeger

‘For all their humour and disarming daftness, Davies’s poems do make space for the serious, the pertinent, the uncomfortable… Profane and charismatic, lovely and at times infuriating, Nia Davies’s poetry glitters above all thanks to its energy.’ – Leaf Arbuthnot, The Times Literary Supplement, on All fours

‘Nia Davies’ peculiar and witty All fours is an interrogation of language and sexuality, psychoanalysis and gender, violence and the body, and the values and meaning that we assign to each. Her poetry is surprising, strange, experimental… All fours is challenging, but its content…is urgent.' – Suzannah V. Evans, New Welsh Review


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BOOKS BY Nia Davies

All fours

Nia Davies

All fours

Publication Date : 22 Jun 2017

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